Minor League Level Review (AA): Zack Wheeler Dominant, Michael Choice Struggling

PHOENIX AZ - FEBRUARY 16: Michael Choice #71 of the Oakland Athletics warms up during a MLB spring training practice at Phoenix Municipal Stadium on February 16 2011 in Phoenix Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Every Sunday I take a look at how some of the top prospects in the minors are doing, specifically the ones who are in one of the three AA leagues. We've seen some key prospects promoted in the last couple of weeks, as Trevor Bauer as moved to AAA, as well as Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi. There are a number of prospects who could be moving up to AAA very soon, including Zack Wheeler and Matt Davidson. All statistics are through Friday night's games, courtesy of Baseball Reference.

Eastern League

Manny Machado (BAL) - .264/.360/.405, 16 R, 13 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 16 RBI, 4 for 7 SB, 22 BB, 39 K

Jonathan Schoop (BAL) - .250/.304/.333, 15 R, 7 2B, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 0 for 2 SB, 10 BB, 35 K

The future keystone combination for the Orioles has not been hitting great this season, but the two of them are also the two youngest players in the Eastern League. Barring some drastic improvement over the next month or two, I see both of them staying in AA for the full season.

Gary Brown (SF) - .250/.333/.293, 21 R, 6 2B, 1 3B, 16 RBI, 14 for 19 SB, 14 BB, 31 K

It is appearing more and more that the power he showed last year might have been more of a Cal League mirage than we thought at first. The speed will still play, but he may not be a 10+ HR bat in the Majors.

Aaron Hicks (MIN) - .241/.324/.395, 28 R, 8 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 25 RBI, 13 for 16 SB, 22 BB, 44 K

Zack Wheeler (NYM) - 4 W, 1.97 ERA, 45 2/3 IP, 27 H, 1 HR, 21 BB, 52 K

Wheeler has been dominant, and was recently included in Keith Law's top 25 prospects still in the minors. I think he'll be in AAA Buffalo before too long.

Southern League

Matt Davidson (ARI) - .277/.387/.526, 28 R, 13 2B, 10 HR, 28 RBI,1 for 2 SB, 29 BB, 45 K

Davidson really appears to be the long-term answer for the Diamondbacks at 3B, and if the group of players up in the Majors keep struggling, we could see Davidson sometime this season.

Andrelton Simmons (ATL) - .299/.367/.420, 23 R, 9 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 20 RBI, 9 for 11 SB, 16 BB, 18 K

Christian Bethancourt (ATL) - .300/.312/.322 9 R, 2 2B, 8 RBI, 4 for 5 SB, 2 BB, 13 K

Bethancourt missed some time due to a disabled list stint, and returned to the team on the 17th. He's only played in 25 games, but 2 walks is definitely not a great shake. He is the youngest player in the Southern League.

Hak-Ju Lee (TAM) - .237/.308/.304, 23 R, 7 2B, 3 3B, 14 RBI, 13 for 20 SB, 19 BB, 42 K

I wonder at this point if Lee will hit enough to make it to the big leagues as a starter. His glove will definitely carry him there, but he seems to have regressed in his second stint in AA.

Francisco Martinez (SEA) - .240/.320/.313, 28 R, 8 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 12 RBI, 18 for 20 SB, 21 BB, 41 K

Nick Franklin (SEA) - .318/.385/.485, 15 R, 12 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 17 RBI, 4 for 5 SB, 15 BB, 20 K

Tyler Thornburg (MIL) - 6 W, 2.28 ERA, 59 1/3 IP, 42 H, 4 HR, 20 BB, 59 K

Sean Gilmartin (ATL) - 2 W, 3.38 ERA, 56 IP, 53 H, 4 HR, 11 BB, 36 K

Nestor Molina (CHW) - 3 W, 5.07 ERA, 55 IP, 73 H, 4 HR, 16 BB, 26 K

I am still completely amazed that all it took to acquire Sergio Santos was Molina. He had a great year last season, but it's been a rough go of it so far for him.

Danny Hultzen (SEA) - 4 2, 1.78 ERA, 50 2/3 IP, 25 H, 2 HR, 25 BB, 56 K

Taijuan Walker (SEA) - 3 W, 2.06 ERA, 39 1/3 IP, 32 H, 1 HR, 12 BB, 41 K

Walker will likely be my #2 or #3 pitching prospect overall when I release my midseason rankings updates, and I think the Mariners will likely keep him in AA for a majority of the season as he continues to build arm strength.

James Paxton (SEA) - 3 W, 3.88 ERA, 46 1/3 IP, 36 H, 5 HR, 32 BB, 52 K

Tyler Skaggs (ARI) - 2 W, 3.12 ERA, 40 1/3 IP, 40 H, 5 HR, 11 BB, 48 K

Someday soon, Skaggs will be in Arizona, making the previous regime look very good for trading Dan Haren.

Texas League

Jurickson Profar (TEX) - .299/.359/.505, 29 R, 13 2B, 5 3B, 5 HR, 22 RBI, 7 for 8 SB, 18 BB, 34 K

All Profar seems to do is hit well. Not amazing, and not insanely for any of the categories, but solid across the board production.

Mike Olt (TEX) - .269/.382/.497, 25 R, 9 2B, 1 3B, 9 HR, 28 RB, 3/3 SB, 29 BB, 49 K

Jonathan Singleton (HOU) - .321/.424/.564, 33 R, 10 2B, 2 3B, 8 HR, 33 RBI, 2/2 SB, 27 BB, 38 K

Oscar Taveras (STL) - .314/.372/.599, 21 R, 13 2B, 3 3B, 10 HR, 35 RBI, 5/5 SB, 15 BB, 22 K

I keep waiting for pitchers to expose the gaps in Taveras, and they cannot seem to get that done yet. I don't foresee a promotion to AAA given that he's just 20 years old, but I honestly think he will be in St. Louis to stay by some point in the 2013 season.

Kolten Wong (STL) - .327/.392/.469, 28 R, 5 2B, 3 3B, 4 HR, 21 RBI, 7/10 SB, 16 BB, 20 K

Nolan Arenado (COL) - .302/.347/.430, 17 R, 14 2B, 3 HR, 26 RBI, 0/1 SB, 10 BB, 25 K

Michael Choice (OAK) - .256/.345/..335, 26 R, 5 2B, 3 HR, 22 RBI, 2/3 SB, 22 BB, 49 K

The concern with Choice has always been the strikeouts, and he clearly has been having problems with that again this year.

Jean Segura (LAA) - .260/.311/.359, 22 R, 5 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 18 RBI, 19/23 SB, 9 BB, 37 K

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